Fort Smith selected for military pilot training center; estimated $1 billion economic impact


Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith has been selected by acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth to be the long-term pilot training center supporting F-16 and F-35 fighter planes purchased by Singapore, Switzerland and other countries participating in the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

In addition to Ebbing, which is home to the 188th Wing, the finalist sites for the center were Hulman Field (Indiana), Buckley Air Force Base (Colorado), Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland (Texas) and Selfridge Air National Guard Base (Michigan).

Officials announced the selection process on July 20, 2020. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the federal agency managing the FMS, notes that the program provides “responsible arms sales to further national security and foreign policy objectives by strengthening bilateral defense relations, supporting coalition building, and enhancing interoperability between U.S. forces and militaries of friends…

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